President and Owner of The Zanger Company, importer of Polish Pottery, Entrepreneur and Product Innovator
If there is one word that characterizes Gloria Smith on both a personal and a professional level it is transformation. After successful careers in education, counseling, and the computer industry, she realized that she had a creative spirit that needed to be satisfied, as well as a desire to define her mark in the world. In 1987, she purchased The Zanger Company, a 20-year-old cutting board business. Looking to expand The Zanger Company, she made a critical decision that changed the direction of her business and ultimately her own and many other lives: she became the largest United States importer of Polish Pottery. The driving force behind one of the most successful tableware and stoneware lines in America, she implemented innovative sales methods and daring marketing techniques, including a beneficial and ongoing partnership with QVC television, that solidified the trajectory of upward growth for her company. As a result, in their inaugural year on QVC, The Zanger Company was one of twenty-six companies nominated from among six thousand companies to receive QVC’s prominent “Rising Star Award.” The Zanger Company’s success has had global implications. Today, The Zanger Company has over $10 million dollars in annual sales, and their partner stoneware company based in Poland is one of the largest employers in the area, and now the largest producer of hand-stamped ceramics in the world. Her entrepreneurial success is balanced by her involvement in the community. She serves on the Board of Community Health Resources, is a sponsor with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure of Breast Cancer, and is a member of Bay Path’s own Innovators’ Roundtable, an advisory board of local entrepreneurs for the College community. On this day, April 27, 2007, Bay Path College is honored and privileged to recognize and officially induct Gloria Smith into the 21 st Century Women Business Leaders Hall of Fame.
Entrepreneur Builder and Community Activist
Armed with a passion to succeed, a willingness to confront risk, and an indomitable spirit, Lynn Donahue turned her life around brick by brick. Raised in a working class neighborhood in New Bedford, Massachusetts, she seized the opportunity to leave her job as a bartender and became a mason’s apprentice. From the beginning of her chosen profession, she not only built walls, she tore them down. Ms. Donahue was the first and only woman to win the state masonry competition, and was the first female member at Bricklayer’s Local 39. Excelling at her trade, she overcame the prejudices of this male-dominated field to eventually form her own company, Argus Construction. Starting with a pickup truck and two employees, Ms. Donahue taught herself the skills and knowledge to grow her business into a multi-million dollar company with more than 50 employees. Along the way, she earned a solid reputation in the construction world, and, in doing so she also blazed a path for other women to follow. Ever mindful of her humble roots, in 2000, Lynn used her wealth and financial independence to found Brick By Brick, a New-Bedford based nonprofit organization that helps teenagers and adults in transition. With a personal story that is the inspiration for many people, Ms. Donahue is the author of a critically acclaimed book, Brick By Brick: A Woman’s Journey, which was a finalist for the 2001 Ben Franklin Award for best autobiography. Through all her endeavors, Ms. Donahue has built a life that is example of fortitude and resilience for her two children, and countless others. On this day, April 27, 2007, Bay Path College is honored and privileged to recognize and officially induct Lynn Donahue into the 21 st Century Women Business Leaders Hall of Fame.
Integrity and quality. These are the core values that have guided and sustained Suki Kramer’s business vision, and have contributed to the success and phenomenal growth of her skin care company, Suki, Incorporated. Driven by her personal health needs to find skin care products that were 100% pure, 100% natural, and 100% honest, she has developed a brand that has been recognized in the industry as a leader in this category. From a small cabin in the woods of Northfield, Massachusetts, this environmental conscious entrepreneur took an idea and put it into action, immersing herself into a myriad of roles: research, business planning, sales, marketing, and public relations. With boundless passion and commitment, she worked from the trunk of her car to develop and grow her customer base. Her products can now be found on the shelves of the Whole Foods Market chain, Macy’s, and the company has over 6,000 customers internationally. Profiled in Elle, Bon Appetit, and Body & Soul magazines, as well as Vogue.com, her Suki, Incorporated products have also been selected as one of the preferred product gifts for the stars at the Oscars and at the Sundance Film Festival. From her first year in business, Suki, Incorporated sales have doubled every year, and now this Northampton, Massachusetts based company employs over a dozen people and is valuable contributor to the local economy. Selected as one of BusinessWest’s “Women to Watch,” Ms. Kramer ‘s courage and faith to push her company to new levels is bolstered by “her family”—the employees of Suki, Incorporated—and the thousands of letters and e-mails she receives worldwide thanking her for making skincare products that have positively changed their lives. On this day, April 27, 2007, Bay Path College is honored and privileged to recognize and officially induct Suki Kramer into the 21 st Century Women Business Leaders Hall of Fame.